PAJ News Blog

Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Jan 04

PAJ Mourns Janice Budd

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janice 1“Journalist and communications professional Janice Budd was one of the hardest-working and most talented people in the business. Her death is a significant loss to the profession, as well as a deeply personal loss to the many people whose lives she touched,” says President of the Press Association of Jamaica Dionne Jackson Miller.
This following Budd’s death Tuesday, after an illness of several months.
“Janice was a joy to work with. She was multi-talented, and moved seamlessly between radio, TV and print, a testament to her core skills of news reporting and writing. She was an exceptionally talented writer, an excellent editor and excelled at almost every task in the newsroom, from radio or TV presenting, to hard news reporting and feature and documentary writing,” added Jackson Miller, who worked with Budd in the RJR Newsroom. Read more

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Dec 19


logoThe Press Association of Jamaica is partnering with Digicel for the provision of Education Grants to assist communications students at the island’s universities.

Digicel will be financing four Education Grants in all, valued at fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.00) each,  for final year college students. One grant each will be awarded to a student at the University of Technology, Northern Caribbean University, and the Kingston and Montego Bay campuses of the University of the West Indies. Read more


Dec 19


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camera - martin foskett - pexelsDecember 19, 2016: The Press Association of Jamaica has written to Prime Minister Andrew Holness noting his failure to hold press briefings since assuming office, and urging him to do so in the New Year for benefit of the public.

The PAJ stressed that it was very concerned about media access to Ministers of Government, and particularly to Mr. Holness as Prime Minister.

PAJ President Dionne Jackson Miller acknowledged in her letter to the Prime Minister that he had given several interviews to local media houses since assuming office, including one to her, and the RJR Communications Group for which she works.

 However, the PAJ President noted that although these interviews are important, they are necessarily selective and exclude many reporters and media houses, and therefore do not provide the kind of broad-based access to media which press conferences do.  

The PAJ noted that Mr. Holness, since assuming office in March, had yet to hold a comprehensive press briefing in the capacity of Prime Minister, which all media representatives could attend and ask him a range of questions, for the benefit of the public.

The PAJ urged Mr. Holness to remedy this deficiency as early as possible in the New Year, and to make these briefings a regular staple on his schedule.

The PAJ’s letter has been acknowledged by the Office of the Prime Minister, with a commitment to respond to the concerns expressed at the earliest possible time.


Jun 08

“We are Richer for Having Known Them” – PAJ Remembers Veteran Journalists

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Gary Spaulding

Gary Spaulding

The Press Association of Jamaica is offering sincere condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of veteran journalists Glenroy Sinclair and Gary Spaulding who, within the past few days, passed away within hours of each other.
“The media community has been dealt a severe blow,” says PAJ President Dionne Jackson Miller. “Media circles in Jamaica are relatively small, so many of us worked closely with, and were good friends of both Glenroy and Gary. Because of that, the sense of loss is really very severe right now.”

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Feb 18

PAJ Expresses Regret at Passing of Junior Dowie


PAJ Expresses Regret at the Passing of Junior Dowie


The Press Association of Jamaica is expressing its sincere regret at the passing of former award-winning Gleaner chief photographer, Junior Dowie.

 A master of his craft, Dowie, who was honoured by the Government of Jamaica with the Order of Distinction for photo-journalism, died at a corporate area hospital today, after several months of illness. Read more


Feb 15

PAJ Calls for Debates to Go On

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Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller Photo: Wikimedia

Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller
Photo: Wikimedia




The Press Association of Jamaica is alarmed at news that the National Political Debates may not be held.

The PAJ wishes to put on record its belief that it is of national importance that the Debates be held, with the participation of both major political parties.

“The election campaign is very short, which already limits the amount of time the public and media have to probe the positions of the individual candidates and their parties. To eliminate what has become an important source of information for the public would be a huge step backwards, and one we would condemn strongly,” says PAJ President Dionne Jackson Miller.

Andrew_HolnessThe Association believes it would be unacceptable in a modern Jamaican democracy for either of the parties to refuse the public the opportunity to see and hear its representatives questioned about issues of national importance. The PAJ is therefore urging the two parties to find other avenues to work out their differences, and not use the political debates for that purpose. The Association in particular calls on the People’s National Party, as the party which has not yet signed off on the agreement for the debates, to do so in the national interest.

The PAJ commends the Debates Commission for its tremendous work over the years in staging the national political debates, and calls for all well-thinking Jamaicans and civil society organisations to speak out, and join the call to ensure that the National Political Debates are again held, as the public expects.



Nov 20

Media Mergers to be Focus of Major Event for National Journalism Week

CC license - old TV - stocksnapA public discussion on the swiftly-evolving media landscape and the implications for consumers will be a major focal point of National Journalism Week 2015, which kicks off Saturday, November  21 and runs until November 28th.

The panel discussion is being  sponsored by the US Embassy, with the topic “Modern Media: Competition and Customer Choices” and will take place on Monday, November 23 from  6 – 8 pm at the Jamaica Pegasus. The event is free and open to the public. Read more

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Oct 06


The Press Association of Jamaica notes, with regret, the passing of veteran news photographer Michael Shaw. Shaw, as he was popularly known, was a 44-year veteran of the profession. He was fun-loving, dedicated, easy to get along with and an uncomplicated worker, who loved his job, took great pride in how it was executed and the outcomes of that pursuit.   There is no greater demonstration of that than where he died … on the job, among his colleagues and practising the profession he loved.

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Oct 02

PAJ Raises Additional Concerns About Access, Calls for OPM to Schedule Briefings with PM

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The Press Association of Jamaica notes the conflicting statements from the British High Commissioner and the Office of the Prime Minister about the discussions that resulted in the initial decision to deny local media an opportunity to ask questions of  Prime Ministers Cameron and Simpson Miller during Prime Minister Cameron’s recent visit to Jamaica.

We take no public position on what may have taken place, and who is correct, but are pleased that both offices appear to have recognised that the lack of access was an issue. We wish to take the opportunity to make two further points.

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Sep 29

PAJ Sends Open Letter to Prime Minister Simpson-Miller

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British Prime Minister David Cameron Photo: Wikimedia

British Prime Minister David Cameron
Photo: Wikimedia

The Press Association of Jamaica, concerned about the failure to arrange press briefings for either the British Prime Minister or the Japanese Prime Minister during their visits to Jamaica, has sent the following open letter to Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller.



Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller
Office of the Prime Minister
1 Devon Road
Kingston 10

Dear Madam Prime Minister:

The Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) notes with great concern that

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe  Photo: Wikimedia

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Photo: Wikimedia

there will be no opportunity for the press to ask questions of you and
British Prime Minister David Cameron on the occasion of his visit to
Jamaica, or of you and the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during
his visit.

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